US Secretary of State John Kerry has called on the autocratic regime of dictator Yahya Jammeh to “release all of the prisoners unconditionally” after criticizing the judgement which sentenced the UDP Leader Ousainou Darboe and co. The United States, he said, condemns the harsh sentence handed out to the eighteen protesters and a US citizen Fanta Jawara. The sentences of the three years in prison handed out by the high court of Banjul, he went on, doesn’t commensurate with the charges.
“We are concerned that the case went forward without addressing the defense counsel’s assertions that the conduct of the case did not adhere to norms o legal procedures and denied the defendants’ rights. We asked that the government release all the prisoners unconditionally,” he said.
Secretary of State Kerry also urges the Jammeh regime to live up to its mandate by respecting international protocols. A US Citizen Fanta Jawara, was among those sentenced. She was visiting The Gambia, when she got arrested. Her husband told the US media that his wife was mistakenly sentenced.
“The United States calls on the Government of The Gambia to uphold its international obligations under the United Nations International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, including specifically upholding the right to peaceful assembly and freedom from arbitrary arrests and detention,” Kerry said.
“This decision is the latest in a series of events cracking on the political opposition and its supporters in The Gambia. As the country looks forward to Presidential elections in December, we call on the Government of The Gambia to cease these crackdowns and give opposition groups in the political space to operate that is their due, without fear of reprisal,” Mr. Kerry concluded.
The Jammeh regime is yet to react to the US bashing.